Friday, January 21, 2011

My First Blogger Event: Meet & Greet for "Ghetto Klown"

Thanks to my fabulous cousin, New York Chica, I was invited to my first blogger event; a Meet & Greet with John Leguizamo and the producer of his new show Ghetto Klown, Fisher Stevens.   Now if you don't know who John Leguizamo is, just click off this page.  That's just sad and you disgust me ;).  Now, my first introduction to John was when I was about 10 or 11 years old, when a few of my cousins were watching Mambo Mouth.  I didn't understand any of the content at the time, but I remember being mesmerized by his energy.  He just kept coming out as these different people and it was sort of strange but exciting to me.  And when he came out dressed as Manny the Fanny & singing freestyle (my favorite music genre), I just thought that was so goofy and funny; I immediately started laughing.  A man dressed as a woman?  Who would do such a thing?  Obviously at that age I wasn't aware of the gay craze that was sweeping The Village.  But either way I was in love.  Then there’s Fisher Stevens, whom some of you may remember from a little movie called SHORT CIRCUIT (1 & 2)!  Yes, I'm sure not what he'd like to be remembered for, considering he won an Oscar for the amazing documentary "The Cove" last year.  But it will always be one of my top 10 favorite movies.  Come on, as if I was the only one that cried when Johnny #5 got beat up?  Whatever, you can play it cool; I know the truth!  Anyway, when she told me about this opportunity, I was so excited I nearly peed my pants.  OK, I did pee my pants, but like you haven't!  I just couldn't believe it.  I'd previously met John while he was on Broadway performing "Sexaholics...a Love Story" back in 2002.  I just dated myself, didn’t I?  However when I met him, he seemed scared out of his mind, which I guess I can't blame him considering we were waiting in a dark alley for him.  Well I was definitely ready and due for my do-over.  But of course, as my luck would have it, I woke up the day of the event (Thursday 1/20/11) sick as a dog.  I'm on a new "health food" kick, which is obviously ruining my life.  But I could not let this pesky vomiting get in my way.  I was on my way to meet & greet my idol, my absolute favorite actor & comedian, Mr. John Leguizamo!  Oh yea, and Fisher Stevens ;)

Of course desperate Susie here got there a little too early.  So while I waited, I began typing my questions into my phone and contemplating throwing up one last time before I went in.  Finally at 5:05pm we were invited in, where there was plenty of wine, water, soda, a cheese & cracker platter and a fruit platter for us to feast on.  But I could not let food and booze distract me.  The last thing I needed was to be in the middle of a question and have to excuse myself.  So, being the first one in the room, I darted to the chairs and made sure to sit in the front row, right in the middle.  I sat there as Fisher & John sat in their corner like nothing, just patiently waiting for their guests to arrive and take their seats.  At this point I’m shaking like a crack-head going through withdrawal.  These geniuses, because that’s exactly what they are, we’re calmly sitting there and here I was sweating like a roasted Pernil in a Christmas oven.  Finally the event began.  After a short introduction, Fisher began with explaining to the audience how he and John first met during a park production of A Mid Summer's Night Dream.  Apparently John became too invested in his role as Puck and put itching powder in Fisher's underwear.  Prank gone wrong, as Fisher screamed that there was shattered glass in his pants.  But he did retaliate by spraying John's dressing room door with shaving cream.  Both men were fined by the authorities, but it was well worth it.  A few years later they worked on a movie, which maybe you’ve heard of, Super Mario Bros.  Yup, I've seen it and I'll still say I love it.  Just like To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, it is a guilty pleasure, which I'm not at all guilty about.   Fisher continued on, saying that he'd seen the first stages of the show, Ghetto Klown, about 2 years ago when John first started working on it and both gentlemen decided to collaborate on the project together.  And from that a beautiful marriage of creativeness, craziness and intense energy was formed.

Fisher Stevens producer of Ghetto Klown

Then it was time for my idol to step up to the plate.  There he was, smack right in front of me: JOHN FREAKING LEGUIZAMO.  He stood in all his glory and it was as if I was a baby who had something shiny dangling in front of her.  You could say I was a little in awe of him.  He explained that the show would be similar to that of Freak & Sexaholix, in that he'd be talking about his adolescence, his early days of acting and the acting business, and that he would be showcasing his dance moves to all types of music.  Of course smart ass here was able to stop drooling long enough to ask him to show us his moves.  And though he didn’t quite land his split, he gave us a snippet of what’s to come.  He did go on to say that the show would differ from the previous shows in that he’ll be doing more impersonations.  But not just impersonations of his family members, but of people in the industry.  He talked about impersonating actors from Steven Seagal to Harrison Ford, all while they're photos will be projected behind him; sort of staring at him in and criticizing.  This brings us to the only other character in the show, the Slide Projector.  The Slide Projector will have photos of not only those being comically destroyed by Leguizamo, but photos of his mother, father, family, friends, his ex wife and his current wife. (Hmmm, wonder what she'll think of that?)  The projector will serve as a background and give the show a documentary feel, since this is a story that will speak to us about his journey in life.  He ended by saying: "This show really went a lot deeper than my other shows. I was trying to do what I can do in movies.  Usually a lot darker, a lot more acting, doing a lot more four person than three person scenes, that I never use to do as much in the other shows [more like two people most of the time]; adding a little Sam Shepard and Arthur Miller to the piece.  So we take you to a lot of laughs and a lot of really dark edgy places.  I mean I always did the dark comedy, but this time going even further, so that's a big thrill to be doing something, that shows my work maturing."

John Leguizamo (Sorry John, this was the best shot I got of you.)

I was fortunate enough to be able to ask him a question during the Q&A session:

Sorry for cutting off his body, but I took pictures and recorded the video from my lap in order not to distract anyone.  So my hands kind of went Blair Witch.

After the Q&A he met with everyone in the room and we were all able to ask him more questions and take photos with him.  I was extremely nervous & so excited that I barely asked him anything.  I did however thank him profusely for following me on Twitter and asked him if he'd read my blog.  I told him I'd be writing about him and he said "Well now I have too."  I told him if he read one of my blogs and gave me a thumbs up or down (I really don't care which) I would be eternally grateful.  So here's hoping!  But in all I have to say that, every person at this event was absolutely amazing.  I have been to quite a few events because of the work that I do (working in Advertising) and have not met a nicer group of people than I did on this evening.  They were polite, eager to get our feedback and very receptive to our questions and comments.  Even Nelle Nugent, who is a part of WestBeth Entertainment (the company presenting Ghetto Klown), came up and personally introduced herself to everyone in the room, which I thought was extremely nice.  If all Blogger events are like this, I'm going to enjoy the world of Blogging.  Hell, if life was at all this pleasant, I wouldn’t get into half the fights I do on the 2 train, and would enjoy my Monday morning commutes a lot more.

You wouldn’t know it, but yes I am quite sick in this picture. But I wasn’t going to let that ruin the most incredible moment of my life. Totally worth throwing up right after this.

In my opinion, if this show is anything like his others (and I have a feeling it's going to be better), trust me; you'll want to get your tickets now!  They're currently available on and are as low as $29.50.  You can also follow the show and get up-to-date information at @ghettoklown on Twitter.  I already follow & I have my tickets.  See John, I should be working for you.  Hopefully I get to meet you AGAIN, so we can discuss and so I can ask you the questions I was too nervous to ask.  Give me another do over!
Happy Blogging All

***Disclaimer: All opinions existing in the above commentary are solely those of its creator.  All information provided in the commentary are based on the experience of the creator at the event. This blog does not serve to criticize, endorse or represent any product, and merely describes an opinion and should be taken solely as such.***


  1. Damn, I'm going to have to buy tickets and see. You did get me to go to the first two shows and I was not disappointed.

  2. great coverage of your first blog event...sick and all :)